Louis CK - The Direct Download

Louis CK sells his own “TV Special” (NSFW):

This isn’t crowdsourcing, is it the ‘longtail’? The interesting thing is not just how successful it’s been, but the costs involved. From https://buy.louisck.net/statement:

Theatre and filming cost: $170,000
Website cost: $32,000
Price per download $5.00
110,000 sales in 4 days, gross over $500,000

There’s money in cutting out the middleman.

See also: In Rainbows, Radiohead

When your fan base loves you, and you put something new out for a very low price, you’ll do well.
And, Louis CK is a genius.

Yeah I love him and have seen him live a few times and hadn’t even heard about the special. Went out last night and ordered a copy, need to get some good beer and watch it this weekend.

Saw this on Twitter this morning from @ReggieWatts

I’m so glad @louisck experiment is working:) However it is important to note that it is not a new concept nor that surprising that it is succeeding(thankfully). In fact it wasn’t even that big of a risk! The reason being common sense prevails. Fans who love an artist want to see that artist succeed therefore if that artist invests energy, creates an experience and extends a generous hand directly to them, more often than not it will be met by an even greater positive return. This model has been pioneered by DIY, independent and some labeled artists of varying mediums over the last few decades to great success(recalling Radiohead). I think what is most important about Louis’ project is the nowness; it’s a much needed reminder for the entertainment industry and encouragement to other artists finding ways to navigate their crafts with creativity intact.

I think Christopher Titus changed his relationship with a book publisher or media company recently. At least with comedy, the market is really zooming forward with the talent taking over from the rights holders.

Titus was talking on a show last week about his last book deal. He moved 50,000 units, but the publisher said that it only covered their costs. He basically said to not buy his book!

The problem that I see is that these avenues are opening for people who have a name, but I’m very curious to see if new talent can generate the same kind of results. I could make a jerk-off podcast and maybe get a few subscribers, but to get the kind of loyalty & volume of people needed to fund a TV show is a pretty high accomplishment.

This just came out today:

Good listen with good insight.

Theres actually been a # of pretty successful Youtube Jerkoff’s that somehow make it work. Heck, people watch the Kardashian’s, so these days all you need is a big ass and a VH1 contract.

CK is genius.

You should definitely listen to that podcast link I posted. CK talks about exactly this and how he got his TV deal.

His last season of Louie, he gets $200K an episode to make the show, he takes home whatever they don’t spend. Since he’s writing, directing, editing, and starring…

What I find interesting is that the barriers to entry are lower, but still are bloody high- $32,000 for a website!
Maybe this means there are no ‘gatekeepers’ anymore- i.e you don’t need an agent to get you the deal, or a publisher, or a producer.

Now everyone can be a stand-up, like how everyone with a digital camera is a photographer, everyone with a PC is a graphic designer, and everyone with a shiny 3D render is an Industrial Designer (bam!).

The cream will still rise to the top, but the bucket is so much bigger, and full of turds (which float too). Maybe it will make people understand the importance of the skill and craft and experience and knowledge that goes into being a ‘professional’.

I couldn’t get into ‘Louie’, I might have to give it another go, but I like his stand up. He did that great show “Talking Funny” with Ricky Gervais, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld.

He bit about being Mexican on Conan O’Brien is great:

Isn’t it interesting how musicians are all trying to get their names on products, whereas comedians are trying to do more shows, podcasts, live gigs? It shows you what has real value.

I’m 40 minutes into the Bill Simmons interview. Great so far.